Pretty much since the beginning of my Harry Potter-obsession, I had one particular set of translations that I wanted. I remember clearly looking at them with my dial-up internet connection while my mom was impatient for me to log off, in case someone wanted to call us. Man, those were the days.
The days where I didn’t know how to order things on eBay and didn’t have paypal or a credit card.
Behold, a decade or two later and I’m a responsible adult with a Visa card! Ever since I got back into collecting books, this set was on my mind. But I couldn’t settle for just 1 of them, I wanted the whole set.
And of course, it’s not free. I mean, they’re not unreasonably expensive, but you know – I have a mortgage to pay, cat to feed – I just couldn’t really justify spending that much money on something I didn’t “need” at once, and during a pandemic where everything was uncertain, no less. Then Christmas arrived, and I thought to myself: “I will get myself these books!”
But I had a lot of expenses and also had a lawsuit that I felt like I needed to finish first. And so I waited patiently for the time when I felt I could just spend money frivolously on books I can’t read. And finally, the time came – we won the court case, I didn’t have any big expenses to take care of – life was good! Well, for me…
In the meantime, a war broke out in Ukraine. I’m obviously not against this war, just because I wanted my books… But I know from people who have been living in Soviet Russia that it was not pleasant and not what they wished. And I feel for the people of Ukraine.
At the same time, I also didn’t think it was the right time to buy books from there. Because obviously, the people of Ukraine had bigger things to worry about than packing up and sending me books. So I waited, hoping the war would end soon. At the same time getting anxious that there wouldn’t be any Ukraine to sell me books. Again, I know it sounds like all I care about are my books, but it’s definitely not. I worry a lot about how this will end. It breaks my heart that young men are fighting in the front lines, although most likely, they just want to live their lives with their families in peace, but someone above them has decided to start this war. I worry, too, because I have family in Lithuania, which is a lot more at risk of a russian invasion than I am in little Denmark.
But I digress. Harry Potter books.
The war has been going on for months now and an end doesn’t seem near, so I decided to contact a Ukrainian seller on eBay and ask if they’re still able to send things out of the country, and they were. So I ordered all 7 books. I do like that I actually got them from Ukraine. At least I supported someone native to the country with this purchase.
And finally, they are in my collection! And just look at the box and all it’s stamps. These days, most packages just have a print-at-home label with a barcode. But there’s something a little bit magic about stamps from other places. The books now have a prime spot with a dedicated shelf in my collection. This is definitely one of my most prized sets. Oh, and this time both cats wanted to join in on the unboxing and photographing.